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Rev Walter D. Bingham

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Rev Walter D. Bingham

Birth
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Death 12 Apr 2006 (aged 84)
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Plot Sec 36 Lot482 Grave 1
Memorial ID 16636101 View Source
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His life has been a dedication to ensuring that "God's work is done." The Reverend Bingham served for more than 30 years as pastor of Third Christian Church, now Third Central United Christian Church. During his 30 year tenure, he not only led this Shawnee congregation, but also provided worldwide leadership on behalf of the Christian Church. He was the first African-American moderator of the Christian Church in the United States and Canada and the first African-American moderator of the denomination at the local and state levels in Kentucky. In addition, Reverend Bingham presided over the General Assembly of the Christian Church in 1973. He also has been a delegate to the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. Further, the Reverend Bingham served on the General Board of the National Council of Churches in the United States from 1969-1972. He was a representative in the consultation meetings of the Christian Church Union from 1969 through his retirement, and was delegate to the World Council of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya in 1975 and Vancouver, Canada in 1983. He was viewed as a "denominational hero." He was particularly known for his service and commitment to the unity of humanity and to creating bonds between and among racial and ethnic groups. The accomplishments for which Reverend Bingham took the greatest pride involved the relationships he held with members of his congregation. He was not only a spiritual leader, but also a friend and mentor. Asked to describe himself, Reverend Bingham once responded that he was a pastor and teacher. The Reverend Bingham was a native of Memphis, TN. He was the oldest of eight children. His parents were Willie Bingham and Lena Allen Bingham. He was president and valedictorian of the 1941 graduating class at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis. He attended Talladega College on a full scholarship and graduated summa cum laude in 1945. He then enrolled in Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C., where he performed as a soloist with the School of Religion Choir. He received a bachelor's degree with "high honor" in 1949. He was hired as an associate professor of religion and philosophy at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, TX. Reverend Bingham was a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He has received a number of honorary doctorate degrees, including those from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis ;Drury College in Springfield, MO; and Transylvania University in Lexington. He was pastor of Pine Street Christian Church in Tulsa, OK, before coming to Third Christian Church in Louisville. He was elected to the regional board of the church in Kentucky in 1962, first vice president of the Kentucky Association of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in 1964, and president in 1966. After retiring in 1991, Reverend Bingham remained a trustee emeritus at Lexington Theological Seminary. His retirement was marked by speaking engagements from Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ congregations. He preached at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and was often a featured speaker at Black History celebrations. He was among the ecumenical consultants to the Cathedral Heritage Foundation. He authored several articles in religious publications nationwide. He was a catalyst for the creation of Third Central United Christian Church which combined two congregations in Louisville's west end. He was married to Rebecca T. Bingham. He was father to the late Louis Simmons and Dr. Gail Simmons Bingham. DR. Bingham died at Brownsboro Nursing Center at age 84.

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